Croatia has effectively replaced England when it comes to hosting Europe’s music festivals. This could be attributed to its gorgeous summers and picturesque locations, or the laid-back people, cheap alcohol, astute DJs and a long summer that promises everyone a brilliant time. Either way, if you plan to make a trip to Croatia this summer for one of the many brilliant music festivals that take place there, then The Sherp has you covered. Take a look at these tips on how you can get to a Croatian festival on a budget, all the way from India.
1. Festival season in Croatia commences this May.
Croatia is home to some of the most wonderful music festivals, and if you do plan to visit there this festival season, you may want to start planning ASAP. Begin by examining the festival schedules, the average festival season runs for about five months, the biggest festivals taking place between May and September. Some of the most anticipated festivals are Hideout (June), Ultra Music Festival (July), and Outlook Festival (September). Once you figure out which festival you want to attend, you need to find out where it takes place.
(Source: Outlook Festival/Dan Medhurst)
2. Buy air tickets now.
The hottest festival destinations are Zagreb, Split, Pag and Pula, lighting up during the festival season every year. Instead of waiting until the last moment, you should sort out your air ticket right about now. There are many flights with a single stop – almost always Frankfurt – that could get ou to and fro from Croatia. The cheapest round trip to Split is close to 52,000 INR and cost to and from the other Croatian cities and islands is similar.
The tickets for mid-May are relatively cheaper than those in mid-June or July, with a difference of over 10,000 INR. Most flight durations will be about 19 hours, so you may want to plan your duration of stay accordingly.
3. The average ticket cost for festivals in Croatia varies between 12,000 to 29,000 INR
For most festivals, you can buy the tickets from Viagogo. They make it easier to purchase tickets for festivals abroad. Festivals like Outlook and Hideout are selling their tickets on Viagogo at 19,000 and 29,000 INR respectively. Ultra Europe, which takes place in Split in September, has priced their general admission 3-day pass at 169 euros, which comes up to 12,751 INR.
(Source: Outlook Festival/Dan Medhurst)
4. Local transport in Croatia – buses & trams.
While most festivals provide shuttle bus services from the airport to the venue, there are alternative means of transportation in Croatia that will do the job perfectly well. An Indian rupee is worth 0.1 of a Croatian kuna. Which means that 10 rupees is 1 Croatian Kuna. Bus fare in cities like Zagreb and Split are usually around 12-15 HRK, and buses will take you to most of the places in the city. The alternative commuting option is the tram. Zagreb’s ubiquitous blue trams have become something of an unofficial city symbol. A network of fifteen daytime lines crisscrosses the city center, so you’re never far from a tram that will take you wherever you need to go. You can download a tram map and check out schedules online.
You can buy tickets from all bus drivers, but trams are a little trickier. You can only buy tickets from the driver in some trams–you’ll see a small sticker on the driver’s window if you can–so, it’s easiest to purchase your ticket in advance from a kiosk or with your mobile phone after you board. Bus and tram fares and relatively alike.
5. Staying in Croatia is not as expensive as we anticipated.
Assuming your accommodations aren’t part of the festival ticket, the sensible staying option in Croatia would be renting an apartment or private room. You may find cheap hotel rooms and the like, but budget apartment homes are more likely to be closer to the festival venue, and more accessible to local transport. We found some extremely cozy private rooms on AirB&B. The cheapest room rate is 1,202 INR per night, for a cozy and comfortable room in the middle of the city Zagreb. You can take a look at it here. The alternative method that will save you some serious m0ney would be couchsurfing. If you don’t know anyone in Croatia personally, head to this website, which shows you who is willing to host tourists and guests in your desired location. The legitimacy of the host is determined by the number of references they have from actual people who have stayed with them.
If you’re not comfortable staying in private homes, you can always take a look at the hotels. Zagreb is one of the more expensive cities in Croatia, but places like Pula, Pag and Split may be cheaper for you. Basic comfort hotel rooms in Split start from 19 US dollars per night, which is 1,300 INR. These rooms can house upto two people at a time, but are cheaper rates than the ones who will find in Zagreb, where the minimum room rate is 54 dollars, i.e., 3,696 INR.
The last alternative you could explore is a hostel. Budget hostels in Croatia aren’t uncommon, and will cost you about 800-1,000 INR per night. The only issue would be the availability, and the distance from the festival venue.
6. Food and miscellaneous
Food in Croatia is a wonderful thing to explore, unfortunately, if you’re on a tight budget, we suggest you stick to the reasonable fast food joints in the cities. If you’re looking for a more authentic dining experience you can expect to pay a little more, but you will get a much higher quality of food, so it is generally worth the splurge. According to Budget Your Trip, you shouldn’t have to spend more than 90 HRK on food in Zagreb, with room to try some authentic food here and there, unless you decide to opt for the expensive and lavish. Alcohol in cities like Split and Zagreb will not cost more than 35-45 HRK, assuming you buy it outside of the festival venue.
(Source: Outlook Festival/Marc Sethi)
7. The overall expenditure
Assuming your trip to Croatia s a week-long one, here’s how much your overall expenditure would be. With airfare, recommended stay options, food & alcohol, and commute, your trip to Croatia should cost you around 74,000 INR. Festival tickets are NOT included in this estimate, the total expenditure including festival tickets will vary depending on the festival.